Lightened Up Chicken Alfredo

I can’t talk enough about how awesome the holiday weekend was! It was such a magical experience getting to be with my second family. My heart and my body are filled with joy! While all of that was lovely, I will definitely say that my eating has been a bit off since my trip. My chocolate and carb cravings have gone through the roof! But that’s okay because I know that a few bad days are not going to derail me from my lifestyle. Thankfully, I took this weekend to recharge and cook a ton because cooking delicious, healthy food brings my body and my mind joy! I feel so much lighter when I am eating better and I can feel more at ease with life. Not only did I make a ton of soup this week, but I was able to demo my food for people. The look on people’s faces when they light up from eating my food keeps me going to bring better, more wholesome food to the plate every single day. One huge lifestyle change that has helped me lose the weight and keep it off is by crowding out all the processed ingredients for lighter ingredients/more veggies instead. This is what I want to share with the world and this is what I’m able to do. Today, I had the honor of making Chicken Alfredo for a wonderful group of people from start to finish. Who knew that you can take a classic pasta dish that typically has heavy cream and crowd it out with roasted cauliflower? Now you’re getting the hang of this whole crowding out thing and it’s a lot easier than you think! And you get to lose weight while not having to give up your favorite foods! Want to learn more on crowding out processed ingredients in your favorite dish? PM me and I would love to help you! As promised, with the help of Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker, here is the recipe for my Lightened Up Chicken Alfredo with an added bonus of roasted greens (because they taste so much better that way)!

Ingredients:

Inspired by: http://ohsheglows.com/2014/01/20/cauli-power-fettuccine-alfredo-vegan/ and https://minimalistbaker.com/5-ingredient-vegan-parmesan-cheese/

  • 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened and unflavored almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice… can also use low-sodium vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
  • Pasta of choice (I used one (8-oz) box of Banza Chickpea Pasta to make this dish gluten-free)
  • Mixed greens of choice (I used a veggie mix, broccoli, kale, and spinach from my local harvest CSA)
  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • 1 lb of chicken
  • Fresh parsley and crushed red peppers, for garnish

For the Parmesan Cheese:

  • 3/4 cup (100 g) brazil nuts (I typically use Cashews instead)
  • 2 Tbsp (16 g) pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp (10 g) hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup (12 g) nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

1.       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut up all of your greens and cauliflower into florets. Cut your onion as well. It doesn’t really matter how your cauliflower or onion cut, since they will be going in the sauce. Peel your garlic and place onto a baking sheet with tin foil. Place your chicken on a separate baking sheet with tin foil.

·         **Note: I also squeezed my lemon onto the veggies, but you can wait until the sauce if you want. It’s totally up to you!

2.       Pour olive oil over your veggies. Season your chicken and veggies with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in oven for 30 minutes.

3.       While your veggies and chicken are roasting, combine all of the ingredients for the Parmesan Cheese into a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix).

·         **Note: If you don’t have a high powered blender, use a food processor or soak the nuts overnight and let them dry before blending with the rest of the ingredients.

4.       Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your desired amount of pasta and boil for the time instructed on the package. Drain pasta.

5.       When the veggies and chicken are all done, remove them from the oven and begin making the sauce. Combine your cauliflower, almond milk, onion, garlic, ½ cup parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, and your lemon (if you haven’t used it already) in your blender and blend until smooth. Cut your chicken into cubes.

6.       Combine roasted veggies, chicken, pasta, and sauce to your pot where the pasta was and stir until the sauce is mixed all the way through.

7.       Top with parsley and crushed red peppers and enjoy! Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry you are!

 

Chicken Alfredo